The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has slammed the Government’s attempts to meet its two-megabyte target level for rural broadband provision by the 2015 deadline.
Describing the process as ‘slow, cumbersome and excessively mired in red tape’, the CLA’s report stated that the Government’s chances of reaching its target on time would be ‘very unlikely’.
Inside Networks editor and IT expert Rob Shepherd said: “There is clearly a disconnect between different rural areas of Britain; for example, broadband speeds in some parts of East Anglia are indeed up to the two megabyte target level set by the Government, however, large parts of Wales and the South West don’t even come close.”
However, the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, Ed Vaizey, is confident that the Government will steer the project to success on time: “The broadband programme is on track and Government targets can be achieved.
“It is an important point to make, that getting broadband out to rural areas is not simply a nice thing to do; it is very important for economic growth of many businesses, particularly farmers.”
In a report released this month by the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee, it was suggested: “… in rural areas of Wales the existence of broadband notspots and slowspots has hindered the operations of existing businesses and deterred new businesses from choosing to locate there – to the cost of the local economy.”
Chair of the Committee, David Davies MP said: “Broadband will become an increasingly important generator of economic success and a means of addressing social exclusion.”